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Neighborhood News


The County Board approved $798,222 for improvements to Nelly Custis Park at S. 24th & Grant Streets, to be funded by the voter-approved Neighborhood Conservation Bond. Improvements will include storm water management to correct existing drainage problems; removal of invasive species; improving circulation for accessibility and park use; additional school-age play equipment; new site furnishings; and additional plantings for shade and beautification.


toptenAurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge are featured in Arlington Magazine’s choice of top 10 Arlington neighborhoods. As the magazine notes, Northern Virginia is “hot”, but some neighborhoods are hotter than others! The features that make us one of the “top” are ones we all recognize and value, such as diversity of house design, trees, convenience, walkability, and the people who live here.  Read the article.


ARTISPHERE SLATED TO CLOSE JUNE 2015 “A Business Decision”, says Donnellan


The Arlington County Manager, Barbara Donnellan, is recommending to the County Board that Arlington’s cultural center, Artisphere, be closed this coming June for budgetary reasons. Opened in 2010 with a 15 year rent-free offer for 15 years from the developer Monday Properties, the center has presented “real artistic success…with very limited resources”, according to Donnellan. “We acted in good faith in our attempt to meet a long-standing community need for an arts center and a need in Rosslyn for an infusion of culture and life into the neighborhood. This is a repositioning, not a retreat, and we will work on a new strategic plan for the arts in Arlington”.


Do you want to be more comfortable in your home and reduce your utility bills? The home energy audit rebate program is sponsored by the Local Energy Alliance (LEAP) and Arlington County and provides a $250 rebate on home energy audits performed by LEAP partner companies. Full Details


Our dear friend and neighbor, Katharine “Kit” Whitely, passed away on October 30, 2012, at her home after a courageous six year battle with breast cancer.

Kit WhitelyAfter retiring from an illustrious career in senior engineering management positions in the defense sectors at McDonnell-Douglas and The Boeing Company, Kit approached ARCA looking for new challenges.  Kit was Secretary of ARCA from 2009-2011 but in addition took on a much greater role on key issues confronting ARCA, given her unique energy and analytical skills.  Kit shaped our neighborhood survey, seeking useful feedback for our upcoming Neighborhood Conservation Plan.  She was the lead for ARCA during the Crystal City Redevelopment Plan approvals and is in large part responsible for the formation of the Citizens Council.  County Board Member Chris Zimmerman said Kit’s “…participation in the Crystal City Sector Plan process made a positive impact that will benefit Arlingtonians for many years to come.”

Kit was a voice of reason on the many issues facing our neighborhood.  She was tireless in her efforts to protect and support our neighborhood.  Even in the latter stages of her illness, Kit personally developed and steered a proposal through the County’s Park Enhancement Grant process to improve the safety of Fort Scott Park for current and future generations.  She was an active participant in the Nominating Committee for the 2012-2013 ARCA slate of officers, ensuring continued future quality leadership for our community.  She was also active in fundraising for and participating in the Alexandria Breast Cancer Walk. ARCA is overseeing the placement of a memorial bench in her honor at Fort Scott Park. Donate to this project.


You can finally recycle those 40 lbs of National Geographics in your basement, as Arlington Public Library has added the National Geographic Archives to its collection of premium sites available free through the Library website. It has also added Encyclopedia Britannica and Livemocha, which offers online language and ESL instruction.


Arlington’s third Resident Satisfaction Survey conducted this spring found that 92% of those surveyed found Arlington’s quality of services satisfactory, which is 32% above the national average. Areas needing improvements are street maintenance and traffic flow, which should surprise no-one living in our neighborhood.
Results of the survey


PLACE Space : Arlington County has launched an online meeting site designed to promote civic conversations and community connections, PLACE Space.  The site is part of the PLACE initiative, but “It is not a social networking site”, Library Director Diane Kresh said, “Our site is a community network, which helps you connect with people, groups and businesses you don’t know, and to connect with each other and with the County government.” The site includes a calendar, a directory of Arlington organizations and people, and a map that pinpoints locations.  To participate, users must create a profile online.


ChickenEd Fendley, creator of The Arlington Egg Project is promoting a County ordinance that will allow residents a limited number of backyard hens (no roosters), explaining that with a small number noise and waste problems will be minimal. Jim Pebley of the Waycroft Woodawn Civic Association says, on the contrary, “the smell is unavoidable”.

In response, the Arlington County Board has created an Urban Agriculture Task Force that will spend the next year researching best practices in sustainable urban agriculture policies, including whether residents can keep small numbers of backyard hens.  Current zoning requires that all livestock or poultry must be kept at least 100’ away from a property’s lot lines, which precludes almost all Arlington residents from keeping backyard hens.  ARCA will gather the facts and monitor the process as this issue moves forward.  Weigh in with your opinion at the Open Arlington Online Forum.


Digital LabArlington has rolled out the region’s first Digital Projects Lab for those who have t he needs and skills, but not the creative resources, to take the next step. Whether it is a photo video and sound wedding album, a small graphic design campaign, animation for a science fair or a civic association podcast, you’ll be able to realize your vision with the kinds of software and hardware library users have sought for years. If you have  a story that can go beyond text, the Lab will help you tell it.

It’s pilot phase through June is located on the first floor of Central Library, and will allow staff to see what system are most in demand and what kind of work stations are effective. It will be open 20 hours a week with 2 hour sessions, although this can be extended if no one is waiting. Staff will be on hand for basic assistance, and advanced reservations are required. More information:


At this year’s Arbor Day Ceremony Arlington received its 16th consecutive award from the National Arbor Day Foundation. Satellite imagery analysis in 2009 showed that Arlington’s tree canopy coverage was about 43%.  Last year the County planted 960 trees and removed 700.  That’s a net gain of 260 trees!  The County Board recognized two 2012 Notable Trees in our neighborhood, a Post Oak at the corner of 25th and S. Hayes and a Ginkgo in the 700 block of 25th Street.    

MosquitoAHCA’s newsletter editor and horticulture guru, Cory Giacobbe, notes that The Washington Post reports that we are in for a bumper crop of insects this year that will bring us even more mosquitos than usual. The most important thing you can do to prevent mosquitos from breeding in your yard is to eliminate standing water in corrugated black plastic tubes on downspouts, in flower pot saucers, bird baths, clogged gutters, children’s toys. More information